AT&T launches Video Share service

After announcing such plans last year, AT&T announced AT&T Video Share, a service that enables users to share live video over a mobile device while simultaneously participating in a voice call. The service is based on AT&T's new IMS platform and is available initially in just three markets via the company's WCDMA/HSDPA network in Atlanta, Dallas and San Antonio, Texas and will be expanded in late July throughout its 3G footprint. AT&T says its research shows there is significant interest in video sharing for a number of reasons. The operator believes consumers will want to share moments with family and friends to provide a sense of "being there" as they happen while consumers or business contacts can seek advice or quick decisions by sharing video and audio of a given scenario. A Video Share-capable handset is required and two Video Share service packages will be available, with prices of $4.99 each month for 25 minutes of Video Share usage, or $9.99 each month for 60 minutes of usage. Users may also choose to pay as they go and pay 35 cents a minute each time they use the service

Interestingly, when the WCDMA vs. CDMA2000 EV-DO debate raged on in the late 1990s and in 2000, Cingular, now AT&T, touted one main advantage of WCDMA over EV-DO: The ability to support both voice and data in the same spectrum on a per time slot basis. EV-DO requires a CDMA operator to dedicate spectrum just to data with the simultaneous voice and data capability to be solved with VoIP when EV-DO Rev. A comes. It will be interesting to see if simultaneous voice and data will become a big advantage down the road. Cingular has historically de-emphasized the need for VoIP in the W-CDMA network primarily because of the ability to run both voice and data in the same channel.  

To read more about AT&T's Video Share service:
- read this release

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